West Nile found in St. John

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – St. John Parish officials announced Tuesday that an isolated case of West Nile Virus has been found in a mosquito sample taken by St. John Mosquito Control

St. John Public Information Officer Buddy Boe said the sample, which was taken July 28 in a random location, is the first incidence of West Nile to be found in the parish this year.

The discovery comes about a month after St. Charles mosquito control officials discovered mosquitoes carrying the virus in the Boutte area, and state officials have confirmed that cases of West Nile Virus and St. Louis encephalitis are in the Southeast Louisiana area.

Boe said St. John’s mosquito program is taking aggressive action in response to the discovery including increased spraying in likely areas, and additional sample collection in the area of the initial discovery.

Officials from the St. John Department of Public Safety are asking all residents to take necessary precautions around their home to prevent further breeding such as regularly emptying any containers that are holding water, avoiding over watering of plants, maintaining proper maintenance of swimming pools, checking overhangs and gutters for water, and filling hollow tree stumps with sand and water.

Boe said residents should avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk, wear long sleeves and long pants when outside and use insect repellant containing DEET according to label directions.

Boe said residents within a five-block radius of the area of the West Nile discovery have been notified and additional sprays were conducted on August 1, 2, and 4 in an effort to reduce the mosquito population in that area.

Residents with any questions regarding the situation or for more information in helping to control the mosquito population in St. John should contact www.fightthebitelouisiana.com or 1-888-246-2675.